Rachelle Mahouchi is from the village of Kpèkpèhoué in Kissamey Epicenter. Married, she is the mother of six children. Her main source of income is through the sale of gari, flour made from cassava. She has been a partner of The Hunger Project (THP)-Benin for nearly a year and is a participant in THP’s Microfinance Program.
Thanks to the health clinic services available at Kissamey Epicenter, Rachelle was able to learn from a prior difficult experience and ensure that she delivered her sixth child with the proper care. Because she had had previous deliveries at home with no problems, the birthing experience of her fifth child came as quite a shock, as it was so difficult that she almost lost her life. Rachelle shared her story with us:
“I went into labor about 9 am. Despite help from my family and neighbors, it was an exceptionally hard experience. The pain of childbirth was long. My husband came and went, preparing leaf-based potions he told me to drink to speed delivery. In desperation, everyone suggested going to the health center located 5 km away. It was night, and we were without electricity and without adequate means of transport. I knew that as of the night before, my husband only had 75 FCFA in his pocket (0.15 USD). This added to my pain and my despair. I felt increasingly drained of my strength. In such circumstances, God is always there – at least that’s what I believe. Fortunately I was able to give birth successfully at a late hour that night.
My misfortune was not over yet. The bleeding did not stop until the very early hours. I was very, very weak. In short, it was a bad experience and every time I remember, I almost feel again the pain and fragility of rural women lacking resources.
I learned many lessons from this experience. Therefore for my sixth child, I chose to come to the clinic to the epicenter of Kissamey, which fortunately is installed in the Health Unit within 3 km from my village. I did not regret making this choice, since the birth of my sixth child happened without any difficulty.
The other lesson I learned from this painful experience is that we must work to overcome poverty and have the necessary resources to heal and deal with other basic needs. I am working on this and my business, thanks to a partnership with The Hunger Project-Benin, will thrive because I am a happy woman and there is joy in my family.”
We thank Rachelle for sharing this difficult and inspiring story with us and ask you to invest in strong women like her around the world.
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December 28, 2011